We have all heard that our smartphones are going to allow us to pay for purchases in shops without the need for getting our credit or debit cards out. The smartphone wallet app is something that is being added to a number of smartphones and it is set to revolutionize the way in which you do your shopping, although you may need to wait a while before you can make use of it.
What’s the Story?
One of the leaders of this technology is Google. No surprises there then! A number of Android phones that have been given the NFC chip (Near Field Communication) are able to make contact with compatible equipment such as tills in some shops. The technology will create a virtual ‘credit card’ within the phone. You can input your card details into the phone and all you have to do then is wave the phone near the other device for the payment to be taken. At this time the technology has been launched in the US and UK customers are eagerly waiting for it. While this sounds fantastic, consumers need to be aware that not all stores are going to have this technology and it could be as much as 10 years before it is widely used.
Meanwhile in the Real World . . .
In the meantime there are some alternatives that you can use. PayPal InStore is an app which will link payments in shops to your PayPal account. You have a PIN number and then you enter the details and generate a barcode. This barcode is scanned at the till and the relevant monies will be deducted from your PayPal account. Some High Street stores have already accepted payments this way but it is still in the early stages.
There are also QR codes available for virtual payments too although this is also a technology which is in the early stages. Trials have begun in the UK although the codes have been swapped for more recognizable barcodes. Early indications are that the trials are going to be a success and this will then be rolled out to other stores in the UK.
And, for Apple Users . . .
iPhone users will be pleased to know that Apple is also working on something to help them when shopping. This is known as PassBook and it is not for payments but for other items that are stored in a wallet. This will include store cards and tickets. Again, this is technology which is slow to catch on in the stores but there are plenty of advantages for those who want to try it. As time goes on it is reasonable to assume that this app will be refined to include payments.
Is this the End for Real Money?
So why would anyone want to do away with the traditional wallet? These days the smartphone is the first thing that people have to hand and it does mean that you can go out without taking cash with you. However, until every shop adopts the relevant technology, you will still need both, so the changes will certainly happen gradually enough for those who will miss traditional money!
This article is contributed by Phil Turner and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,